September 2, 2011

Arnold Charging – Everyone’s Favorite Warrior

Arnold Charging – Everyone’s Favorite Warrior
Submitted by
Marilyn Hudson

Arnold Charging was a first-class, all-around athlete. He competed in football, basketball and track. If the Elbowoods School had offered other competitive sports like swimming or cross-country, he would have been a champion in those events, too. He loved all kinds of sports, but his favorite memories were of the football games he played as an Elbowoods Warrior.
Often overshadowed by their illustrious basketball teams, Elbowoods also played great football. In 1950, they won the conference championship and placed 4 men on the first squad and 3 on the second all-conference team. Arnold Charging, the fullback, was a unanimous choice for the first squad.
It is somewhat of a mystery as to how Elbowoods could consistently produce winning sports teams. The students came to high school from small rural reservation schools which had no sports programs. The school had no money or facilities to support athletics. They played basketball in a smaller-than-regulation-size gym. Their football field was in a cow pasture behind the Government barns and commissary. They had none of the football protective gear worn by today’s athletes.
However, football was not a new game to the students in Elbowoods. Many of their fathers and grandfathers had played the game at Carlisle, Haskell, Flandreau and other early Indian boarding schools. In fact, in Washington D.C., at a Congressional hearing about the Garrison Dam in 1948, one of the congressmen spoke of playing football against Byron Wilde saying that “he was a fast and powerful runner and if he ever got away he would make a touchdown.”

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